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El Sistema Documentary Screenings

Founded in 1975, the Venezuelan youth music programme El Sistema has changed the lives of 787,000 teenagers in Venezuela, transforming their life trajectories and nurturing internationally-recognised talents such as Gustavo Dudamel and the musicians of the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela (SBSOV).

In addition to presenting the complete Beethoven Symphony cycle, the Hong Kong Arts Festival has also arranged a series of community screenings, offering an in-depth look into the beginnings and subsequent success of El Sistema.

* Selected screenings are followed by music demonstrations and discussion sessions with local educators or SBSOV members.

The Promise of Music – Gustavo Dudamel

The documentary starts in Caracas, Venezuela and travels around the rest of the country on the trail of Gustavo and four young musicians from the Simón Bolívar Symphony Orchestra of Venezuela. The journey reaches a grand finale in Germany where the orchestra perform a Beethoven Festival concert in Bonn. This film demonstrates how classical music can change not just individuals but also their environment.

2008 / 90mins
Director: Enrique Sánchez Lansch
In English and Spanish with Chinese subtitles


© Deutsche Grammophon

Music to Change Life – El Sistema

This moving documentary takes us from Venezuela’s poorest neighbourhood to one of the world’s finest concert halls in Lucerne. The film follows the lives of children who share their everyday hopes and fears, and the dream of a better life through education and music.

2009 / 120mins
Director: Paul Smaczny and Maria Stodtmeier
In English and Spanish with English subtitles


Dudamel: Let the Children Play

Gustavo Dudamel, the amazingly gifted Venezuelan conductor and an alumnus of the El Sistema music education system, leads this journey through the stories of some of the young people who are experiencing the joy of music in some of the most diverse and contrasting corners of the world.

These children are bringing a simple message to all of us: art is a universal right.

2011 / 90mins
Director: Alberto Arvelo
In English and Spanish with English and Chinese Subtitles



Date & Screening Details Time Venue Address
7 Oct 2017 (Sat)
The Promise of Music – Gustavo Dudamel
7:30 – 9:00pm Rooftop Terrace, Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre 30 Pak Tin St, Shek Kip Mei, Kowloon
24 Oct 2017 (Tue)
Dudamel: Let the Children Play
5:30 – 7:00pm The Education University of Hong Kong 10 Lo Ping Road, Tai Po, New Territories
*28 Oct 2017 (Sat)
Dudamel: Let the Children Play
3:30 – 5:30pm Auditorium, Christian Family Service Centre 3 Tsui Ping Rd, Kwun Tong, Kowloon
*31 Oct 2017 (Tue)
Music To Change Life – El Sistema
6:30 – 8:30pm Chiang Chen Studio Theatre, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University G/F Chung Sze Yuen Building, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Hung Hom

Supported by
4 Nov 2017 (Thur)
Dudamel: Let the Children Play
4:00 – 5:30pm AC1, The Hong Kong Cultural Centre Administration Building, 10 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui
Promotion Support

Free admission. Registration required.